• What Makes a Good Friend?  
     
      
     

    Teaching Children How to Be Good Friends, by Dr. Brad Schwall
    What qualities and actions help children make and keep good friends and how can parents and guardians guide their children to develop positive friendships?  This Valentine's, focus on encouraging kindness and friendliness in your children.
    Building Good Friendships by Age and Stage
    2-4
    Before play-dates, give specific directions on how to behave.
    Provide supervision on play-dates.
    Show young children how to share and take turns.
    5-7
    Take advantage of activities, such as sports and classes, to build and nurture friendships.
    Follow your child's lead.  Don't feel the need to push your child to do sleepovers.
    Affirm your child for positive qualities and interactions that lead to good friendships.
    Talk to your child about how to problem-solve and compromise.
    8-10
    Talk about what it means to be a good friend.
    Be in tune with what is happening in your child's social life.
    Encourage your child to respect and show kindness to everyone.
    Encourage your child to have friends from a variety of groups.
    Brainstorm ways to connect with new friends.
    Guide your child to problem-solve when he or she faces challenges.
    11-12
    Know your child's friends and their families.
    Talk about what your child looks for in a friend.
    Ensure that your child has at least one or two good friendships, but allow your child to determine whether he or she is interested in having a smaller group of friends or a larger circle of friends.
    Affirm loyalty and helpfulness in friendships.
     
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    Guidelines for Raising Responsible Children
    *Setting Expectations- Tell your child what you expect as far as behavior, school work and grades, chores, and being respectful to you and others.
    *Setting an Example- You can talk to your child but they do as you do.  If you go to work on time, value your job, are respectful of others, do your own chores at home, and treat your family members respectfully, then they will do the same.
    *Involvement- Be involved with your child.  Do activities with them at home and at school.  When they have activities at school--GO.  When a teacher calls and needs a meeting with you--attend.
    *Encouragement--encouragement is important, but do not give empty compliments.  Children know when they haven't done a good job and if you tell them otherwise they will not believe you.
    *Boundaries-- Boundaries are clearly defined limits with appropriate rewards and punishments for compliance and noncompliance.
    *A Drug Free Environment
     
     
Last Modified on August 4, 2010